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Thread: How Effective is the .44 Magnum?

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    How Effective is the .44 Magnum?

    I'm a little confused when it comes to the effectiveness of the .44 Mag. I've read accounts from hunters saying the lighter, higher velocity loads such as the 180gr. variety liquifying internals. On the other hand I read material stating that the velocity from handguns including the .357 and .44 Magnum does not aid in incapacitation or the destruction of tissue.

    I understand that a bigger, faster bullet will usually be more effective than a smaller, slower one but when comparing say a 9mm Glock to a .44 Desert Eagle is there a significant difference in damage?
    Last edited by KCabbage; 01-31-11 at 10:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KCabbage View Post
    I'm a little confused when it comes to the effectiveness of the .44 Mag. I've read accounts from hunters saying the lighter, higher velocity loads such as the 180gr. variety liquifying internals. On the other hand I read material stating that the velocity from handguns including the .357 and .44 Magnum does not aid in incapacitation or the destruction of tissue.

    I understand that a bigger, faster bullet will usually be more effective than a smaller, slower one but when comparing say a 9mm Glock to a .44 Desert Eagle is there a significant difference in damage?
    Most people will tell you that you need to be above 2000 fps to expect the temporary cavity to have any meaningful effect. Permanent crush cavity is what you're relying on below 2000 fps. If I'm hunting large game, I want a heavy bullet that will pass completly through if possible. I hunt with the Nosler 250gr Partition Gold. I think it gives the best combination of penetration and expansion.

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    I do not think anyone has ever stated that it was an underpowered handgun round...

    B
    MossieTactics.com ~ KMA 367

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    For hunting deer size game you don't need a high velocity round that will "liquefy internals." Look at how a modern bow hunting arrow works on deer. It is a slow moving projectile that passes completely through, makes a wide damaging wound channel and leaves TWO holes for the blood to flow out so the animal will expire quickly. I hunt a lot with a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter in 44mag and have tried several different bullet brands and weights. The heaver bullet weights, say around 240 300 grains, will pass through more reliably than the lighter bullets. Shot placement and a good wound channel is the key so find a heavy bullet that will shoot accurately in your gun and expands reliably.
    "Take the message to Garcia."

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    .44 Mag is a caliber that is in the transitional range between service caliber handgun loads with minimal stretch effects and rifle calibers with substantial TC damage, as in some cases .44 Mag generates a sufficiently large temporary cavity to damage susceptible inelastic tissues. Hopefully you have read: https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19930. As noted, my .44 Mag general purpose load of choice is the Hornady 300 gr XTP. Another transitional caliber where TC is beginning to be a significant mechanism of wounding is the .30 Carbine when using good quality expanding ammunition like the Barnes 110 gr XPB, Rem 110 gr JSP, and Speer 110 gr Gold Dot.

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    I have actually read that and really appreciate you putting that together.

    Which types of loads are more likely to exhibit this TC damage? Is the additional damage worth the blast of the .44?

    I was thinking along the lines of light and fast with penetration in the 12-15" range which brings me to the Hornady 180gr. XTP at 1500+ FPS. This is to be used as a HD weapon so i'd like something that doesn't penetrate 20"+ yet remains as effective as possible.

    Thanks

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    Carbine or pistol; what barrel length?

    .44 Mag in a RDS equipped 16" lever carbine is quite effective at stopping anything in the lower 48 states...

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    Ah yes, sorry. 6" Desert Eagle pistol.

    Although not my type, I have been very tempted to pick up a good lever action. Is there one in particular you recommend?
    Last edited by KCabbage; 01-31-11 at 15:21.

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    The Marlin 1894 16" works well.

    From a pistol, the Hornady 300 gr, 240gr, and 180 gr XTP's are all outstanding and would be my first choices; the Rem 275 gr Core-Lokt works well, as does the Win 210 gr Silvertip (although it is flashy).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocGKR View Post
    The Marlin 1894 16" works well.

    From a pistol, the Hornady 300 gr, 240gr, and 180 gr XTP's are all outstanding and would be my first choices; the Rem 275 gr Core-Lokt works well, as does the Win 210 gr Silvertip (although it is flashy).
    Please forgive me for being a pest here but in your opinion are these loads, the 180gr. especially, worth the extra blast?

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